Chinese Wikis and Chinese Flags

Wikipedia Is a Hit in China As Ban Is Lifted,” Wall Street Journal, 15 November 2006, http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB116355788891123450-tqM_m9_qDsL5EWEFgW4o6zHBSIQ_20061214.html?mod=tff_main_tff_top (from Slashdot).

The Chinese version of wikipedia is exploding in popularity, after the Communist party legalized it

Activity on nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation’s Chinese Wikipedia site has skyrocketed since its release, which Internet users in China first started reporting on Nov. 10. Since then, the number of new users registering to contribute to the site has exceeded 1,200 a day, up from an average of 300 to 400 prior to the unblocking. The number of new articles posted daily has increased 75% from the week before, with the total now surpassing 100,000, according to the foundation.

The unblocking of Chinese-language Wikipedia makes the site’s user-generated content accessible to a much larger share of China’s Internet population, which now numbers more than 120 million.

While stumbling my way through the hanzi, I came across this historical poster arguing for the continuity of the Republic of China from the founding to Chiang Kaishek’s reign:


The Chinese Republic For Ever

It is a reminder that Mao is not the only Chinese leader to supress the Sun Disk. The first flag of the Chinese Republic, as well as the flags of the (illegitimate) Manchu State and the (illegimiate) Empire of China also were Sun-Disk-less.


Chinese Republic, Chinese Empire, Manchu State

More historical Chinese flags are available at China Since 1912.

One thought on “Chinese Wikis and Chinese Flags”

  1. The five stripes are for the five peoples of China. The same effect is on the Red flag with it's stars. (Okay, supposedly that's for 'revolutionary classes,' but ask a paranoid Mongolian and they'll tell you that one of the stars represents Mongolia and irredentist Chinese claims upon it). Obviously the Manchu were represented by yellow (by looking at the Manchukyo flag), but I don't know who the rest of the colors applied to.
    The Chinese, for years, relied upon the industrialization of Manchuria by Japan (on the backs of Chinese slave labor). Even as a puppet state, Manchukyo makes an interesting study.

    I wonder, was the sun disk too close to Japan or part of the old imperial regime because both the Communist and Republicanist avoided it and Nationalist only sort of adopted it later.

  2. ElamBend,

    The colors of the Five Race Flag are the Han, Manchus, Mongols, Hui Muslims, and Tibetans.

    I don't know much about the Japanese occupation of Manchuria, but if they built it up like they did Korea and Taiwan, then China owes a lot of gratitude. (Similar to the way the British influence in Shanghai and Hong Kong benefits the PRC still)

    My guess is the Five Race flag was an attempt to imitate the European tricololors — it would be interesting to study the moving geographies of flag designs! 🙂

  3. ElamBend,

    According to the wikipedia page [1] the colors of the Five Race flag are Red for Han, Yellow for Manchu, Blue for Mongol, White for for Hui Muslims, and Black for Tibetan. The China Since 1912 page [2] agrees, except it reverses the symbolism for White and Black.

    It's my understanding that the Japanese built up Manchuria pretty rapidly — the same feat they accomplished for the Koreans (especially the northern part of the country) and the Taiwanese. I'm not sure how they treated the Manchus and Manchurian Chinese before the war — Japanese treatment of Koreans and Taiwanese were pretty well [3], but of course Japan owned Manchuria for much less time.

    I wondered about the Japan connection too, but as that didn't stop the North or South Koreans from implementing it [4], it would seem strange to abandon a cultural symbol because an enemy appropriated it.

    Thanks for the comment!

    [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Races_Under_One_Union
    [2] http://tmg110.tripod.com/china1.htm
    [3] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/12/11/the-commonwealth-of-korea-and-japan-shintaro-ishihara-right.html
    [4] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2006/11/11/borat-vexillogical-learnings-of-asia-to-make-benefit-gloriou.html

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